I've seen a lot of people that run anywhere around the world in saltwater because that's the only place that they have.
OK, first things first. You say that you'd rather have a mono over a Cat anyway so we got that part out of the way. It looks like you might prefer nitro over gas or electric but maybe that was just your bud talking.
Look at how much you'd like to spend and if you already own some equipment that use for a boat, that can save you a few bucks.
What it will come down to like I tell all new boaters is that in the end, YOU have to be happy with your purchase, not me or your pal. We can only point you in some directions and give you the pro's and con's about what you're looking at.